2019 Subaru BRZ Review
Is the Subaru BRZ a Good Car?
The BRZ is a good sports car that proves you don’t need extreme horsepower to have fun. Light and nimble, the BRZ focuses more on the driving experience than its performance specs. Most auto reviewers find that its rousing handling is more than enough to spice up a stale commute. However, the BRZ does have a few shortcomings, most of which relate to its interior. It has dated technology, a thin features list, and a dull interior.
Should I Buy the Subaru BRZ?
You should buy a BRZ if you want a spry sports car that costs less than $30,000 and offers auxiliary space behind the front seat. There are a few other lively alternatives also worth considering, each with a different personality. The Toyota 86, which was developed in conjunction with the BRZ, is nearly identical except for its easier-to-use infotainment system. The convertible Fiat 124 Spider feels classier with its upscale interior. The Mazda MX-5 Miata boasts one of the highest performance scores in our sports car rankings. Note that the 124 Spider and MX-5 Miata are convertibles. If you want a Subaru that’s sporty and comes with all-wheel drive, the WRX is a thrilling choice.
Should I Buy a New or Used Subaru BRZ?
Buying a used BRZ instead of a new one will likely save you money, though you will miss out on some appealing upgrades if you go too far back. After launching the BRZ for 2013, Subaru has issued regular updates for its rear-drive sports car. Notable recent changes include engine and suspension enhancements and refreshed styling for 2017 models and an improved infotainment system for the 2018 Limited trim.
If you’re considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 and 2018 BRZ reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.
We Did the Research for You: 40 Reviews Analyzed
Our Subaru BRZ review includes far more than just one person’s opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 40 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.
This 2019 Subaru BRZ review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which runs from 2013 to 2019.
Why You Can Trust Us
At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We’ve been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.
How Much Does the Subaru BRZ Cost?
The 2019 BRZ starts at about $26,000, making it one of the least expensive sports cars in our rankings. For more information on pricing and standard features, see the Which Subaru BRZ Model Is Right for Me? section below.
Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Subaru dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Subaru deals page.
Subaru BRZ Versus the Competition
Which Is Better: Subaru BRZ or Mazda MX-5 Miata?
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a superb two-door that regularly places among the best in our sports car rankings. Its demeanor is similar to the BRZ: Handling is sprightly and responsive, and its powertrain is peppy and satisfying. The BRZ comes only as a coupe with a fixed roof, and the MX-5 is a convertible. A soft top is standard, or you can upgrade to the hardtop Miata RF roadster. The Mazda’s touch-screen interface is straightforward, and it’s available with advanced safety features that you can’t get in the Subaru. If a convertible fits your lifestyle, you should pick the Miata over the BRZ.
Which Is Better: Subaru BRZ or Toyota 86?
Toyota and Subaru teamed up to build both the 86 and the BRZ. You’ll see a lot of similarities between these two, but they aren’t identical because each brand applied its own unique styling to their respective cars. Although both come with the same Subaru-designed boxer engine, professional reviewers say they have different driving dynamics. Deciding between these two mostly boils down to personal preference, though the Toyota 86 offers a couple of advantages. Its record of predicted reliability is healthier than the Subaru’s, and it has a better infotainment system.
How Many People Does the BRZ Seat?
The two-door BRZ has four seats. This car is clearly built for the enthusiast, with well-bolstered front seats and a cockpit layout that positions pedals and gauges right where a sports car driver wants them. As in most low-slung coupes, the petite back seat is best used for storage or the occasional passenger.
BRZ and Car Seats
Both rear seats have a full set of LATCH car-seat connectors. However, the narrow quarters leave little room for a child safety seat, and the lower anchors are hard to find and use.
BRZ Interior Quality
The BRZ’s interior materials are durable and well-made. Its interior isn’t fussy, with a design that some feel is appropriately simple, but others find outdated. The Limited trim’s leather, Alcantara, and red stitching elevate the cabin’s styling.
BRZ Cargo Space
The BRZ doesn’t offer a lot of cargo space, but its 6.9-cubic-foot trunk is typical for a car this size. A standard folding rear seat lets you expand the trunk, giving you enough space to haul an extra set of tires.
BRZ Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
Even shoppers with a mild interest in using up-to-date technology will want to bypass the base BRZ Premium in favor of the BRZ Limited. This upgraded infotainment system comes with a larger touch-screen display and smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Satellite radio, HD Radio, and Bluetooth are standard across the lineup.